• Chloe Gordon

Norway's New Recycling Symbols From Oslo’s Heydays Makes It Easier To Put Your Trash Where It Belong

UI design, when broken down, is beyond fascinating as it's the human-first method to designing an uncluttered aesthetic for a meaningful, well-thought-out experience.

Norway-based Heydays Design Agency and their packaging studio Goods have begun to turn my dream of making the world a more visually aesthetic place into a reality with The National Recycling Symbols in Norway. They've created a system that labels products, public trash bins, and recycling facilities through beautifully designed icons and a color-coding system. They've also created an app so you can figure out where and how your trash is recycled.

They created the design system to reduce confusion when it comes to the disposal of items at the trash bin and, therefore, increase recycling rates. It's a well-known truth that people aren't great at recycling, and part of the problem stems from the system's flaws: if it's challenging to recycle, how can we expect people to take the time to understand how to do it?

Heydays Design Agency breaks down the flawed system through 90 individual pictograms that are legible at any size paired with color-coding for material types. Think green for food, red for hazardous, black for waste, purple for plastics, and so on.

To be able to help the environment through graphic design and UI is genuinely remarkable. While it might take some time for people to relearn graphic patterns, it's well worth trying and fixing a broken system and beats a handful of recycling arrows going nowhere.